Monday, September 26, 2022

Don’t Say Gay.

 It is causing great harm to the LGBTQ+ youth in schools, it has caused an increasing in bullying and discrimination in violation of federal law.

Critics say new school policies in Florida ostracize LGBTQ students
NPR
By William Brangham and Dorothy Hasting
September 20, 2022


Judy Woodruff:

In Florida, some local school boards have implemented policies that critics say are ostracizing LGBTQ students as the new school year gets under way.

Other states are taking similar steps, including most recently in Virginia.

William Brangham is back now with our look at its impact for some students in Florida.

[…]

Will Larkins:

I have noticed an uptick in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and general attitude toward people.

I have always dealt with homophobia at high school. I have always been called slurs and stuff, but it has gotten worse since the school year started. A lot of things have happened. Most recently, my sister and I were followed home after a football game by 15 guys, who called us slurs, told us to kill ourselves.

It was really scary. They said they were going to beat us up. They chased us. We got lost in the trees.

The other thing I have noticed really — really that I know for a fact came from this is more of the rhetoric that's coming from the state legislature and our governor, such as the grooming rhetoric, calling queer people pedophiles, has now trickled down to the high school level, and high school bullies are using the same language as our politicians, who are pushing for this bill and other anti-LGBTQ laws.

William Brangham:

Those are horrible experiences. I'm sorry.

Javier, have you seen similar kinds of things?

Javier Gomez:

I have, actually.

I mean, from my school, I have noticed that there's been a divide against a lot of students with the anti-gay rhetoric that's been spewed around by so many people. I have noticed the languages that are being used. There's the grooming pedophiles, et cetera.

And I definitely think that there's been this precedent set by this bill in particular and other states nationwide. And it's been trickling down to, like Will said, the high school level, where a lot of kids are using that language and thinking it's appropriate, and going at queer kids.

And it's really traumatizing, to a point where it hurts me and it hurts — and I can't imagine the pain that other people are feeling. And I'm not in high school anymore.

That is the harm that these laws are creating. They are empowering the vitriol that these children are seeing in schools. If you look at the bias crimes in states that are anti-LGBTQ+ compared to affirming states it is like night and day.

In 2016 after the Pulse night club shootings in Florida, the New York Times ran an article about bias crimes.

L.G.B.T. People Are More Likely to Be Targets of Hate Crimes Than Any Other Minority Group
Even before the shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were already the most likely targets of hate crimes in America, according to an analysis of data collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
By Haeyoun Park and Iaryna Mykhyalyshyn
June 16, 2016


[…]

A recent investigation by The Associated Press found that thousands of city police and county sheriff’s departments had not filed a single hate crime report to the F.B.I. between 2009 and 2014.

Larger cities or cities with a more visible L.G.B.T. community are more likely to have procedures and training in place to detect and reduce hate crimes.

For example, in 2014 only one hate crime was reported for the entire state of Mississippi. In Connecticut, where L.G.B.T. people are arguably more visible and influential, 23 hate crimes based on sexual orientation were reported, Mr. Herek said.

In PubMed a database of research papers run by the National Institutes of Health there is a paper about,

When Love Meets Hate: The Relationship Between State Policies on Gay and Lesbian Rights and Hate Crime Incidence by Brian L. Levy and Denise L. Levy and they found (And keep in mind that this research was done before the escalation of bias crimes)…

This research also has implications for current social policy. In addition to the individual-level benefits that characterize current pro-equality arguments in the gay and lesbian rights debate, there are positive social externalities, such as a reduction in hate crimes, associated with pro-equality laws. Although public opinion on marriage equality remains fairly closely divided, the general public is, for the most part, not divided in its opposition to hate crimes. Thus, the potential for state policies to influence, if not serve as, societal forces in the production of hate crimes will be an important consideration for legislatures and courts deliberating marriage equality, hate crime, and employment nondiscrimination laws.

And now with the passage of all the anti-LGBTQ+ laws like the “Don’t Say Gay” law (For the purists, HB1557) the discrimination is even more pronounced.

The only reason why the Republican are against us is to rally their evangelical Christian base to vote. 

What Do You Expect…

From the conservative media, especially Fox News

Tucker Carlson Says Hospitals Should Expect Threats Over Trans Care
The Fox News entertainer says that those who provide gender-affirming care should expect threats, and an Ohio hospital is the latest to experience just that.
The Advocate
By Christopher Wiggins
September 23, 2022


As attacks on hospitals across the country providing gender-affirming care services to trans children increases, with the latest target being a hospital in Ohio, far-right Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson is adding fuel to the fire.

During a segment on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, on Wednesday, Carlson, who has often made anti-LGBTQ+ comments, attacked hospitals providing gender-affirming health care to transgender young people. 

Carlson said that being transgender is a fad, and he repeatedly claimed that gender-affirming medicine harms children and called it a “crime.” He also described being transgender as a “fad.”

Following a series of tweets from right-wing extremist influencer Matt Walsh accusing Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee of opening its gender-affirming care division for financial gain, Carlson joined online trolls in targeting the facility.

Here he is endorsing violence against people. 

As a result, the hospital received an influx of hate and vitriol, leading to its having to shut down its website, as the Daily Beast reported.

Carlson directs his viewers to engage in threatening behavior with a wink and a nod.

Why does the FCC allow him to be make these threats and the harassment. Why hasn't Fox license been suspended? 

Quoting a soon to be released report from the state… “Hate crimes cause trauma to the individual victim and can spread fear, feelings of isolation, and insecurity throughout the wider targeted community.” yet he continues to make these veiled threats.

there has been other hospitals that have been harassed and threaten, such as Akron Children’s Hospital and the Boston Children Hospital.

Carlson continues to lambaste the hospital with false claims that doctors across the country are “drugging and mutilating” children.

For months, conservative hate groups have attempted to spread a conspiracy theory that hospitals are conducting genital surgeries on minors...

[…]

Trans rights advocates say these "mutilation" conspiracy theories aim at generating outrage and inspire attacks against medical facilities and professionals providing essential health care to trans children and adults.

He is spreading fear, and stirring up violence against trans people. Last year we broke records on the number of trans people murdered and we are on the way to equal or break that record again.


Ganging Up On Us.

For a long time I have heard of Alliance Defending Freedom, they are the law firm that files most of the law suits against us and who helped lawmakers file anti-trans legislation but I haven’t heard of Family Policy Alliance.

The Christian nationalist boot camp pushing anti-trans laws across America
Insider
By Sarah Posner
September 21, 2022


[…]

As a high-profile evangelist for these laws, Lundstrum has been part of a growing cohort of right-wing lawmakers and Christian nationalist groups that are working to pass some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion measures in the nation. These bills are often based on false claims that gender-affirming care is a ghoulish medical experiment that causes lifelong harm to kids, when in fact doctors and professional medical organizations have established that such treatment is vital to supporting the health and well-being of trans kids.

[…]

But Lundstrum's bill didn't take the views of these medical experts into account. Instead, the bill relied on two powerhouses of Christian nationalist political advocacy: the Family Research Council and the Arkansas affiliate of the Family Policy Alliance, the political arm of Focus on the Family. Founded in 1977 by the anti-LGBTQ psychologist James Dobson, Focus on the Family has worked to shape the views of tens of millions of U.S. evangelicals on sexuality and gender—and how they should engage politically in order to ensure that that government be guided by a "biblical worldview."

And the Supreme Court is now packed with judges who put the Bible before the Constitution. These evangelical Christians are organizing politicians on these bill.

Training state lawmakers to implement this ideology has become a top priority of the Family Policy Alliance, which has hailed the SAFE Act as a critical step to protect children from "dangerous medical experiments" that amounted to "manipulation, malpractice, and abuse." 

In 2016, it launched the Statesmen Academy, a program which "provides pro-family legislators early in their career with the training, mentorship, support and coordination necessary for effective, Christ-centered public service," according to its website.

Not only that but they help with political campaigns of their favorite candidates.

The Statesmen Academy elevates the profiles of these legislators and helps them promote legislation rooted in baseless distortions of science and medicine, particularly with regard to reproductive and trans rights.

This those hundreds and hundreds of anti-trans bills are coming from!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

1, 2, 3 Green Light!

Did you ever play Red Light, Green Light game when you were little?

Well now those that want us back in the closet have gotten a green light for their virulence against us.

Gainesville officials, activists react to vandalism of Pride Center of North Central Florida
The Gainesville Sun
By Andrew Caplan
September 24, 2022


The Pride Community Center of North Central Florida was found vandalized early Saturday morning with the culprit leaving behind a hateful message.

The Pride Center is known for its activism for LGBTQ rights and for supporting members of its community throughout the region.

The attack came just weeks before the highly anticipated return of the Gainesville Pride Festival on Oct. 22, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

The vandalism is being investigated as a bias crime by the police and the community has rallied together.

Those who showed up at the center helped clean the mess left behind, sweeping up glass and rocks.

[...]

“Later I will be angry about this vicious emotion crime but right now I’m incredibly sad for every vulnerable person in my community,” Alford said, adding that she faults some elected Republicans who have shared anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. “This does not represent the values of our community and we can’t be defined or stopped by the hate-filled actions of ignorant people.”

All the anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ is stirring up anger and violence against us, take a look at some of the comments on Yahoo News over this article,

we the people are tired of it all. it is going to get alot worse for this group. just wait till they are hunted at night and found in the morning for fun

To bad it was not burned down. Nothing but a septic tank!

Their vitriol knows no bounds, with “The Don’t Say” law, the law banning the diversity training in the workplace, with the banning of books, with their criminalizing of our healthcare it is giving the green light for violent acts against us and is polarizing the nation.

With their Pride celebration coming up at the end of October I wonder if there will be anti-LGBTQ rallies or worst yet violence at the festival? 

It Was All For Polling Numbers

It was all a political stunt for DeSantis presidential campaign run! They care more about winning than people lives.

Ron DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard stunt gives Republicans the midterm fight they crave and takes focus off Trump 2024 and abortion rights, GOP operatives say

  • Polling shows voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on immigration and border security.
  • DeSantis' political stunt in Martha's Vineyard rocketed the issues to front-page news ahead of the midterms.
  • Republicans welcome the change of topic from abortion and Trump. 
Insider
By Kimberly Leonard and Warren Rojas
September 22, 2022


When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis orchestrated flights sending migrants and asylum seekers from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, many observers saw a stunt aimed at raising the Republican's political profile ahead of a potential 2024 White House run. 

But according to GOP operatives, the move also gave Republicans running for Congress the opportunity to home in on illegal immigration and border security, topics they've clamored to put at the center of this fall's midterm elections.

DeSantis' timing is ideal for Republicans and allows the governor to continue casting himself as a national GOP leader that others in the party will follow.

But I think it is going to bite the Republicans in the a**!

I think those who think that the “immigration problem” is out of hand have always thought that and those who do not think the there is a problem have also no changed their mind. All his immoral stunt did was polarize the both sides more.

Republicans already knew they held an advantage on these issues even before the Martha's Vineyard controversy. Since March 2021, the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans in US House races, has sent 357 emails about "Biden's Border Crisis" to reporters. 

But DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard flights brought renewed interest to the matter, said a Republican familiar with House races who asked not to be named in order to speak candidly.

What they hope to do is strengthen their base.

Republicans already knew they held an advantage on these issues even before the Martha's Vineyard controversy. Since March 2021, the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans in US House races, has sent 357 emails about "Biden's Border Crisis" to reporters. 

But DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard flights brought renewed interest to the matter, said a Republican familiar with House races who asked not to be named in order to speak candidly.

[…]

To top it all off, Republicans are closely watching trends that show Democrats are seeing a decline in support from Hispanic voters.

It was nothing more than a political stunt at the expense of human lives. Over the last four or five years the number of hate crimes have skyrocketed!

Rise in reports of hate crimes against Latinos pushes overall number to 11-year high
Of 51 hate-motivated murders reported in 2019, 22 — almost half — were from last year's anti-Hispanic mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
NBC News
By Suzanne Gamboa and The Associated Press
November 16, 2022


Reports of hate crimes against Latinos, including last year's shooting massacre in El Paso, Texas, increased in 2019, while the overall number of reports of hate-motivated killings hit its highest level since data began being collected in the early 1990s, an FBI report released Monday indicated.

Of the 51 hate-motivated killings reported last year, 22 of the victims — almost half — died in the El Paso massacre on Aug. 3, 2019. Most of the victims were Latinos. Authorities have said the gunman was targeting Hispanics when he drove hundreds of miles to El Paso and shot multiple people at a Walmart.

[…]

Authorities said that before the attack, the gunman had posted a hate-filled racist statement decrying the "invasion" of Mexican immigrants in the United States.

That is what all the rhetoric against immigrants is doing hate crimes against Latinos and Asian is the direct results of politicians like DeSantis who milk the political divide for all that’s it worth. And they do the same thing with us, it is all about polling numbers and not people lives!

~~~~~~~

But the question is; is his  strategy working?

DeSantis risks voter backlash in Florida with migrant flights
The Hill
By Max Greenwood and Amie Parnes
September 23, 2022


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is facing mounting scrutiny in his home state over his controversial decision last week to fly dozens of mostly Venezuelan migrants to the elite resort island of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. 

While the move was lauded by conservatives as a powerful protest of the Biden administration’s approach to border security, it has sparked a wave of criticism from Democrats and members of Florida’s vast Hispanic community, a politically influential force in the Sunshine State.

“With this move, this stunt, obviously he made his base very happy,” said Adelys Ferro, the executive director of the Venezuelan American Caucus. “But there are many people more toward the middle and people who are independents that are very disgusted and that reject all of this.”

“We are Venezuelan Americans and we vote, and we’re going to vote in November,” she added. “And we’re never going to vote for somebody who does this.”

[…]

But whether the migrant flights — dubbed a political stunt by critics — will weigh on DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential contender who is facing reelection this year, remains an open question. 

Politico echoes the Hill article and notice that DeSantis is only picking on Venezuelans and not Cuban immigrants.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to transport mostly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard earlier this week could hurt the Republican governor in November with a key constituency that the GOP has sought to win over.

The move by DeSantis dominated the radio and television airwaves in South Florida — where large swaths of Hispanic voters live. One Spanish radio host loudly denounced the move and even compared DeSantis’ actions to that of deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who relocated Cubans in the early ‘60s.

Democrat Charlie Crist, who is challenging DeSantis, on Saturday rushed out a new digital ad targeting Hispanics and the Venezuelan community as part of a six-figure buy pounding DeSantis over his attention-getting move.

Will it help or hurt him we will find out in November?

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday 9: This Night Won't Last Forever

Saturday 9: This Night Won't Last Forever (1979)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song begins with, "Everybody likes a celebration." Do you have any birthdays or anniversaries coming up on your calendar?

Yes, birthday is in October.

2) The lyrics tell us Michael Johnson is stuck at a party while his heart is breaking. He finds it awkward and painful to pretend there's nothing wrong. Are adept at "putting a good face on it?" Or is it easy for others to tell how you're feeling?

Yes, I had over 70 years to practice "putting a good face on it?"

3) Michael feels like this is going to be a long night. Is there a part of your day when time tends to drag? Or when it flies?

At 3 in the morning as I toss and turn trying to get back to sleep.

4) As bad as he feels right now, he's still hopeful about tomorrow. What are you looking forward to for Sunday?

Well I’ll tell you what I am not looking forward to doing, driving back home. I have a doctors appointment on Monday.

5) When he was 13, Michael taught himself to play the guitar. He went on to take formal lessons and mastered classical guitar. What's something you would like learn more about/do better?

Well I was thinking about taking a photo workshop next fall that is sponsored by DownEast magazine, I’m pretty good with my camera but I think a class will have good subject matter.

6) For a time he performed with a trio known as Denver, Boise & Johnson. The Denver was John. Do you have a favorite John Denver song?

Country Roads, I bet you that this will be the song that most Saturday 9ers will pick.

7) He retired to Minneapolis to be near his adult daughter. But he never stopped performing entirely. For years he delighted loyal local fans with with an annual holiday concert on December 26 at Orchestra Hall. Is there a performer you've seen in concert more than once?

I am not a big crowd fan so the last concert that I went to was in 1974, it was a Grateful Dead concert at Dillion Stadium in Hartford.

8) In 1979, when this song was popular, the cable channel ESPN launched. What's the last sporting event that you watched?

Umm… Umm… I can’t remember but I have been at meetings across the street from ESPN at Connecticut Community Care. They have a huge campus in Bristol. 

9) Random question: Do you play Wordle?

Nope, I am horrible at word games. Forget Scrabble, forget crossword puzzles my brain just does do good with word games. It is not that I don’t have the vocabulary it is that I can’t connect the word with the definition. Or in the case of Wordle and Scrabble I’m horrible at spelling.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Be Worried

The Republicans want a Constitutional Convention… be scared, be very scared!

Ruling the US supreme court isn’t enough. The right wants to amend the constitution
A conservative movement to rewrite the US constitution is gaining momentum – potentially plunging the US into a vast legal unknown
The Guardian
By Russ Feingold
September 19, 2022


In a recent primetime address, President Joe Biden spoke about “the soul of the nation” – calling out rightwing forces for their numerous efforts to undermine, if not overthrow, our democracy. Biden’s speech was prescient, in more ways than one. In addition to many Republicans promoting the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen and working to fill elected offices with people ready to subvert the will of the people, there is a conservative movement underway to radically rewrite the US constitution.

The right has already packed the supreme court and is reaping the rewards, with decisions from Dobbs to Bruen that radically reinterpret the constitution in defiance of precedent and sound legal reasoning. But factions of the right are not satisfied to wait for the court to reinterpret the constitution. Instead, they have set their sights on literally rewriting our foundational document.

[…]

As legislatures continue to trend conservative in many states, due in no small part to partisan and racial gerrymandering, factions of the right see an increasingly viable and potentially imminent path to securing the 34 applications necessary to call a convention. In recent months, some congresspeople have even claimed that the constitutional threshold has been satisfied and that Congress must call a convention. While their counting is dubious, the momentum that they could nonetheless achieve is deeply worrying.

So what is on their wish list?

  • A ban on all abortions
  • Marriage is between a man and a woman.
  • Criminalize us and our lesbian, gay, and queer brothers and sisters.

We thought that Roe v. Wade was safe and we had faith in the Supreme Court to do the right thing but the Republicans kept plugging ahead until they packed the courts and they can do the same with a Constitutional Convention.

Pennsylvania Wants To Jump On The Florida’s Bandwagon.

We have another want-a-be. A senator in Pennsylvania introduced a bill a one-ups-manship bill like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Pennsylvania Republicans Introduce Extreme 'Don't Say Gay' Bill
The bill is more restrictive than the one that became law in Florida.
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
September 21, 2022


Pennsylvania state representatives have introduced a bill regulating classroom instruction that is more restrictive than Florida’s infamous “don’t say gay” law.

“It is patterned after the Florida bill, but mine goes further,” Republican Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, the legislation’s lead sponsor, said at a rally at the state capitol Tuesday, Harrisburg’s Patriot-News reports.

Her bill, House Bill 2813, would stipulate that public and charter schools “may not offer instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity to a student in kindergarten through fifth grade.” The Florida law, which went into effect this year, bans instruction on these topics in grades K-3 and says any lessons in higher grades must be age-appropriate.

Borowicz said she ideally would like the prohibition to go through 12th grade. “It really needs to be protected up through 12th grade; we need to go all the way,” she told reporters at the rally. She endorsed a similar measure in the state Senate, SB 1278, “which would allow schools to be sued for material that is ‘not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate”’ at any grade level,” the Patriot-News notes.

But the Democratic governor said he will veto the bill.

SB 1278 has passed the Senate, but Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has promised to veto it or any bill like it, including HB 2813, which he said “denies humanity by reinforcing homophobic ideologies,” according to news site Local Today. Wolf is not up for reelection this year due to term limits, but the Democratic nominee for governor, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, opposes this type of legislation as well. Lawmakers should stop “wasting time and tax dollars on these attempts to bully LGBTQ Pennsylvanians,” a spokesperson for Shapiro’s campaign told Local Today.

The Republicans are all lining up behind the bill including nominee for governor who is all in favor of the laws and other LGBTQ+ bills.

However, the Republican nominee for governor, Doug Mastriano, attended the rally to voice support for HB 2813, SB 1278, and restrictions on LGBTQ+ content in general, the Patriot-News reports. Mastriano is a close ally of Donald Trump.

The article pointed out something that I didn’t think of,

While the terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” apply to heterosexual and cisgender identities as well as LGBTQ+ ones, the bill is clearly directed at LGBTQ+ students and materials, Pick added. “That is being interpreted as you can’t discuss the minority sexual or gender identity,” she said. “What you ultimately wind up with is a climate where schools and teachers feel unable to address the needs of students.”

So if you can talk about heterosexual and cisgender identities but not about us, doesn’t that violate the Fourteenth Amendment about equal treatment under the law? So under the Florida law you can sue the school if they say anything about their straight marriage or children!

The Republicans in their haste and revulsion of us they don't think things through and all the ramifications of what they are doing. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Another Republican Ignores The Law.

They feel that they are above the law and that laws do not apply to them.

Tim Scott introduces legislation to pull funding from schools with transgender support policies
Scott said Tuesday that the measure intends to combat “radical and secretive” policies that allow students to use a different name, pronoun or gender marker in school without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

• Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has introduced a bill to cut federal funding from schools with transgender support policies that do not involve parental consent.
• The measure, titled the Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their Kids Act, would bar elementary and middle schools in the U.S. from allowing a student to use a different name, pronoun, restroom or locker room without the knowledge of their parents.
• Conservative lawmakers at the state level this year have pursued similar measures.
The Hill
By Brooke Migdon
September 21, 2022


Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to withhold federal funding from schools with transgender support policies that do not require faculty or staff to obtain parental consent before changing a student’s name or pronouns on school records.

Scott’s Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their Kids Act — or the PROTECT Kids Act — would cut federal funding from any elementary or middle school in the U.S. that allows students to change their pronouns or gender markers on school forms without permission from their parents.

The measure would also prevent young transgender students from using school facilities like restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity if their use of those accommodations is not first approved by their parents.

The Republicans have new buzzwords… “Parental Rights” they think of kinda like a Monopoly’s Get Out of Jail Free” card. But what they really mean is a free card to discriminate.

Conservative lawmakers across the country this year have cited eroding parental rights as cause for adopting legislation to limit how topics related to gender identity and sexual orientation can be talked about in schools and restrict how transgender young people may access gender-affirming health care.

At the same time, parents advocating against such measures have used similar arguments to claim that state governments do not have the right to unilaterally make decisions about the care or control of their children.

[…]

“Public schools across the country are violating these fundamental parental and familial rights by deliberately hiding information about gender transitioning children from their parents,” the bill states. It references transgender support policies adopted by school districts in Maryland, Virginia and Iowa that allow students to socially transition without the consent of their parents.

Think about for a moment, what have the conservatives been going after with their "Parental Rights" campaign?

  • LGBTQ+ people who also fall under the Connecticut non-discrimination laws.
  • Black history like the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre who also fall under the Connecticut non-discrimination laws.
  • Indigenous peoples’ history like the Wounded Knee Massacre who also fall under the Connecticut non-discrimination laws.
  • Immigrants who also fall under the Connecticut non-discrimination laws.

What does it teach the children? 

What the Republicans are saying is that they want to teach the children that it is okay discriminate against people that they don’t like or people who are different.

They have agitated people so much that violence have broken out at Board of Education meetings and board members have received threats. And what does that teach the children when their parents start shouting, using profanities and threats of violence at Board members? Family values?

Court Decisions Doesn’t Mean Anything To Them!

Do you remember the case of  Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board where the Supreme Court let stand a lower decision? In that case the lower court ruled that we are covered under Title IX, that sex does include gender identity.

Clashing with Gavin Grimm decision, Virginia’s new transgender school policies trouble civil rights groups
The Virginian-Pilot
By Nour Habib and Peter Dujardin
September 20, 2022


Schools and civil rights groups are reviewing the new model policies released by the Department of Education last week regarding the treatment of transgender students in K-12 public schools. Though not yet commenting on the legality of the new policies, civil rights groups have expressed concern about how they can impact transgender students in the state’s public schools.

“The ACLU certainly is disappointed in the guidelines,” said Matt Callahan, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Virginia. “We don’t think that it adequately protects transgender youth.”

The Virginia NAACP condemned what it called the “rollback of protections for transgender students,” saying the new model policies sent a “deeply troubling message to students that this administration will not stand up for students’ civil rights.”

Robert N. Barnette, Jr., president of the Virginia NAACP, said, “this policy is painful and resembles the history of segregation in restrooms and other public accommodations and history is at risk of repeating itself.”

Their justification for changing the policies was horrible! It aims at segregating us and marginalizing us.

The document posted Friday said the previous policies “promoted a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools.”

The 2021 model policies called for schools to use a student’s preferred pronoun and allow students to use restrooms that aligned with their gender identity. The new model policies, which emphasize parental rights, state that school personnel can use pronouns that do not correspond to the student’s recorded sex if a parent, or a student age 18 or older, provides written permission “because of the student’s persistent and sincere belief that the student’s gender differs from his or her sex.”

The Republican use the buzzword… “Parental Rights” which is a twist on their “Religious Freedom” chant. As if “Parental Rights” are somehow a magical phrase that allows them to break the law. Because in Connecticut and many other states it is against the law to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people. So by saying we don’t want trans children to use the bathroom that our children use that is blatant discrimination!

Taking LGBTQ+ books off of library shelves is discrimination.

Taking Black history out of books is discrimination.

Preventing teachers and students from saying “Gay” is discrimination.

The Trump’s Supreme Court even said so.

But like Trump’s administration governor Youngkin’s administration chose to ignore the Supreme Court and discriminate against us.

In October 2014, Grimm got permission from his principal to use the boys’ room, doing so without incident for seven weeks before parents objected. Administrators tried to allay those concerns by increasing privacy in the boys’ room, but it wasn’t enough to mollify the objections.

[…]

The 4th Circuit upheld that decision in 2020: The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that the board should have allowed Grimm to use the boys’ room. “The solution was apparent — allow Grimm to use the boys’ restrooms, as he had been doing without incident,” the appeals court opinion said.

[…]

Though Gloucester County appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, the high court in June 2021 declined to take the case, meaning the 4th Circuit’s ruling still stands. It’s now applicable as federal case law in Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina and West Virginia.

But the governor of Virginia believes that he is above the law and can make his rules.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

What’s That Saying About Getting Your House In Order First?

All that gallivanting around the country assailing immigrants and trans people maybe DeSantis should take care of the state needs firsts.

Florida has a health care crisis. The obsession with culture wars won't fix it
Sarasota Herald-Tribune Editorial Board
September 20, 2022


Sarasota Memorial Hospital deserves praise for its move to hire scores of medical staffers from the Philippines, including 50 nurses, between now and early 2023.

[…]

But the mere fact that Sarasota County’s largest employer is actively recruiting foreign medical professionals to boost its personnel levels shows – yet again – why health care should be a prominent issue in the November gubernatorial contest between Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist.

That makes it even more galling that thanks to our state's seemingly endless loop of culturewar debates and stunts – the latest being DeSantis’ utterly dehumanizing decision to use taxpayer money to fly two planeloads of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard under clearly suspicious pretenses – Florida’s health care challenges are unlikely to receive the focus they deserve during the governor's race.

DeSantis goes around the country lambasting immigrants and LGBTQ+ people but meanwhile the state is crumbling!

According to the United Health Foundation’s 2021  “America’s Health Rankings” report, which was released last December, Florida ranked a woeful 47th in the nation in providing access to health care for its uninsured citizens.

His answer to the lack of teachers is to hire retired police officers!

After giving military veterans easier access to temporary teaching certificates, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said he wants state legislators to expand that same option for law enforcement officers and other first responders next year.

[…]

“Just like we do for veterans, we will do for the other first responders,” DeSantis said at a news conference in New Port Richey on Tuesday morning. “We will waive the exam fees for the state certification program.”

Participants must have a bachelor’s degree and those who sign up will be eligible for a $4,000 bonus. If they teach courses or subject matters that are experiencing “really acute shortages,” DeSantis said they will get another $1,000.

Oh yeah they really know how to teach! And they don’t even have to take any teaching classes! Can you imagine a policeman teaching calculus? Our a former Afghan veteran teaching a class about dangling participle?

Just like the professor in the Wizard of Oz, don’t look behind the curtain… look… look at these DRAG QUEENS!

Don’t look at the shy high insurance rates!

Don’t look at the shortages in teachers!

Don’t look at the shortages in healthcare providers!

Don’t look at the crumbling infrastructure!

Just look at these horrible drag queens reading stories to children!

But instead of Florida problems, DeSantis goes around the country rallying votes against us and immigrants for his presidential candidacy.

And you know what?

The voters eat it up, eat up all the white supremacists talk about immigrants taking jobs away from the citizens (Never mind that they take jobs that no one else wants), they eat up that the immoral drags queens are grooming child (Never mind the fact that nothing immoral is happening.), and never mind that all the voter fraud is being done by Republican voters.

It is time to wake up to the smoke and mirrors.


An editorial in the Washington Post by Andreas Kluth Texas and Florida Are Going Full Belarus on Migrants says;
Here’s an opening question: Are Greg Abbott and Ron Desantis, the Republican governors of Texas and Florida, respectively, moral analogs to Alexander Lukashenko, the dictator of Belarus, or Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the strongman president of Turkey?

Lukashenko and Erdogan have used some of the most vulnerable human beings in the world — refugees from the Middle East — as pawns in their games against perceived political enemies in the European Union. Erdogan has prodded migrants to cross Turkey’s land and sea borders with Greece. Lukashenko has flown refugees to Belarus before herding them toward Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Abbott and Desantis are doing something similar. In their games, Venezuelans and other Latin Americans assume the role of Syrians or Afghans. And “blue” states such as New York, Illinois or Massachusetts, and “sanctuary cities” such as New York or Washington, D.C., play the part of the EU.

[…]
Almost all European countries nowadays have far-right populist parties whose rhetoric ranges from merely anti-immigrant to downright xenophobic. In places such as Hungary and Poland they’re in power; in Italy and elsewhere they could soon be. They do well whenever parts of the electorate feel anxious — about their wallets, safety or way of life — amid the ominous presence of large numbers of exotic-looking foreigners. (When refugees look less exotic, like the Ukrainians who’ve fled to Poland, the backlash tends to be manageable.)
And lets not forget us.

Turkey and Belarus both had anti-LGBTQ+ rallies and have passed laws against us.

The Republicans are taking us down the path to a dictatorship and authoritarianism.

I’m Going To Take Some Heat.

Yesterday I wrote “Protesting Our Healthcare” which was about protesters at Boston Hospital, this time the anti-trans protesters were in Providence RI and also in Chicago,

Protesters rally outside Cranston library where anti-transgender activists hold forum
The Providence Journal
By Linda Borg
September 19, 2022


More than 100 activists turned out at a local library Monday night to protest a private forum whose speakers openly oppose transgender rights for youth. 

"I'm so glad to see you here," the Rev. Donnie Anderson, a transgender activist, told the cheering crowd. "How many of you believe that transgender people are human?"

"Trans rights are human rights," said Sen. Tiara Mack. "Never forget that you are beautiful. Never forget that your body is your own. No one gets to tell you who you are."  

Calling it “hate speech,” activists had earlier asked the William Hall Library to cancel the event, sponsored by the Independent Women’s Network, a right-wing organization that has been characterized as anti-feminist by national news media.  

One of the speakers was Nicole Solas, who made national news last summer after she filed 200 public-record requests with the South Kingstown School Committee. Solas, a South Kingstown parent, wanted to know if critical race theory was being taught in the classroom.

Okay a couple of things, first the difference between the protesters at the Drag Story Hour at a library the protesters the Advocate wrote…

A gunman intimidated patrons Sunday at a Nevada library hosting Drag Queen Story Time. 

A man with an armed rifle interrupted the event at the library in Sparks, where children had assembled to enjoy reading.

Before the panic, local drag queen Miss Ginger Devine read to children at the Washoe County Library System's Sparks location while Proud Boys members protested.

Wearing the militia's colors of yellow and black, the group carried placards that read, "Stop sexualizing children! Shame on you for trading your kids just to look 'woke.' Woke is broke."

I don’t know about you but I see a difference between protesting with bullhorns outside and armed protesters and disrupting the meeting.

The second point which I think will generate flak over this… there is no law against “hate speech” the courts time, and time again no matter how much we do not like it is protected by the First Amendment, speech crosses the line when threats are made. I don’t like it but that is what the courts (both liberal and conservative courts have ruled it.).

Much as he disagrees with the views of the forum, library director Ed Garcia said the library has a long-standing practice of allowing outside groups to hold private meetings, a position supported by the American Library Association and case law.

Asked whether the library was tacitly endorsing hate speech, Garcia said the law isn’t clear on what constitutes hate speech. 

The third point that I want to make is that we have fought long and hard for our right to use libraries for our message and to deny those opposed to us the right to use the libraries is hypocritical.

I believe what was done in Providence was correct, peaceful protests.


Out in the Midwest threats of violence has forced a hospital to change their procedures.

Lurie Children’s Hospital takes action after its gender development program is targeted on Twitter
Chicago Tribune
By Lisa Schencker
September 19, 2022


Lurie Children’s Hospital has increased security and moved a transgender youth support group from in-person meetings to virtual ones after it became the latest children’s hospital to face criticism online over its gender development program.

An account called Libs of TikTok posted a number of tweets late last month criticizing Lurie’s program, which aims to support “the physical, mental and social health of patients and their families as youth progress through gender identity development,” according to Lurie’s website. Many of the program’s patients are gender-nonconforming children, gender-questioning youth and transgender and gender-fluid youth.

In recent months, Libs of TikTok has criticized a number of children’s hospitals across the country for their care of transgender youth. Hospitals criticized by the account have sometimes received threats.

They crossed the line when threats were made… now it has become a bias crime.

Other hospitals including Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., Akron Children’s Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital have also been targeted by the account, which has 1.3 million followers.

There is a big difference between protesting and threats of violence. As Newton Lee said in 1959,

There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. Free speech encourages debate whereas hate speech incites violence.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Protesting Our Healthcare

The right-wing is at it again, protesting Boston Hospital treating trans children but we showed them that they are not welcome.

Fewer than 10 anti-trans protesters met by 100s of counter-protesters at Boston Children’s Hospital
The hospital has been repeatedly targeted for protests and harassment by right-wing activists due to its transgender healthcare program for minors.
Boston.com
By Susannah Sudborough
September 18, 2022



A group of 200 counter-protesters met a small contingent of anti-transgender healthcare protesters outside Boston Children’s Hospital Sunday morning, The Boston Globe reported.

The eight or nine anti-transgender protesters were continuing a far-right campaign against the hospital for its pediatric and adolescent gender-affirming healthcare program, which treats minors dealing with conditions such as gender dysphoria.

Counter-protesters arrived at the Longwood Avenue entrance to the hospital around 9 a.m. Sunday, while protesters arrived at 11 a.m., the Globe reported. Both disbanded around 2 p.m.

In pictures from the protest, demonstrators can be seen wearing black and holding signs that say things such as “children cannot consent to puberty blockers,” “no child is born in the wrong body,” and “gender clinics harm children.”

See they are ignorant of trans healthcare, the right-wingers tell them lies and they believe it… repeat after me; “No medical procedures that are not reversible are given to children!”

But can’t get it through their thick skulls to their little brains. They still believe that being trans is a choice.

The Globe reported that one reason the reaction to the protest was so strong was due to the presence of Canadian anti-trans activist Chris Elston.

Elston was part of a group of far-right activists who spread false accusations about Boston Children’s Hospital online, such as that the hospital performs sex-change operations on minors. The accusations helped spur a harassment campaign against the hospital and its doctors.

On Sunday, Elston wore two signs hung over his shoulders. One had a message written on it like a dictionary entry for the word “dad” that said “a human male who protects his kids from gender ideology.”

So now the right-wingers are coming from foreign countries to spread their lies.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement to the Globe Sunday afternoon that the protesters were part of a “national intimidation tour” targeting the city and the “life-saving care” provided by Boston Children’s Hospital.

“We will not let those who rely on intimidation and fear-mongering get in the way of our work everyday to make Boston a safe and welcoming city,” she told the paper.

They are part of the new Brownshirts trying to force us back in the closet.

My Theory

I think that we each have our own theory on why we are trans but one thing that I know is that I did choose to be trans.

Born This Way
“Born this way” has been an effective argument for our rights, but not every LGBTQ+ person feels it speaks their truth. How can we have a conversation around this without empowering anti-LGBTQ+ forces?
The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
September 19, 2022


Baby, we were born this way — or were we?

The “born this way” concept has informed LGBTQ+ political messaging for decades, long before the Lady Gaga anthem emerged. Recognizing that one’s identity is intrinsic and can’t be changed from outside, it’s been used to argue against discrimination and conversion therapy, plus to make the case that transgender people aren’t changing their gender but confirming an identity they’ve always had. It’s proved to be effective, but some activists and thinkers have always said it’s limiting.

One of the latest to put this idea forth is author Julia Serano. “Too many people seem to view that phrase through a lens of strict biological determinism, or presume that it means the number of LGBTQ people must be permanently fixed and static. Perhaps new language might circumvent these misconceptions moving forward,” she wrote recently in Salon.

I believe that we had a choice and that was a Hobson’s choice we could either accept being trans or not but either way we are trans. It is either living our life in the open or staying in the closet.

“It has been absolutely essential to winning legal protections,” Shannon Minter, legal director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, says of the “born this way” approach. “I think now would be the worst time imaginable to abandon that public education effort.”

But she suggested that “‘born this way’ may no longer be the most effective way to counter” the idea that anyone is able to turn anyone else away from a straight cisgender identity.

“None of us can precisely say for sure why we turned out to be gay, or trans, or otherwise,” she wrote. “Nor can we say why some people come to this self-understanding as children, others during adolescence, and still others as adults.”

I first crossdressed when I was in the seventh grade, when I first looked in the mirror something clicked and I felt… this is who I am. From that day I knew who I was.

What I believe:

  • First, there is something in us that tell us who we are, male or female but like most things in nature it is not binary but rather it is continuum of a whole range of feelings, some people got the gender dysphoria bug so strongly that they had to transition while others it is only a flea bite that it is just an annoyance that needs to be scratch occasionally by crossdressing while others must transition.
  • Second, it takes a trigger depending on how strongly we got bitten by the gender dysphoria bug, for some it might be noticeable but other needs more of an incident. For me I believe that trigger was the seventh grade initiation in Catholic parochial school where we had to crossdress. When I looked in the mirror something clicked and from that day on I crossdressed in secret until I was in my late 50s when I came out of the closet.

I also believe that like being left handed no one knows why we are trans. Whether it is in our genes, or something prenatal that happened in the womb I don’t think that we will never know. I know that my mother had several miscarriages between my brother and me… did they give her DES to prevent miscarriages I don’t know, was there some type of stressor during her pregnancy I don’t know.

What they do know is that there are a greater number of trans children whose mothers took DES during pregnancy, and that during the bombing of London in World War II there were a higher number of gay men born and they theorize that stress induced hormones cause the increase of gay men. So the environment of the womb can bring about changes.

Adds Sam Brinton, director of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project: “At the end of the day, we have to trust our young people when they tell us who they are, because we know that support and acceptance can be lifesaving.”

There are no test to determine if we are LGBTQ+, there may never be a single reason why we are trans or LGB, there may an infinite number of causes and just like being left handed they will never find the reasons why we are LGBTQ+.

Monday, September 19, 2022

The FBI Got Their Woman.

A couple of weeks ago a bomb threat was made against a hospital that treats us in Boston and an arrest in the case was just made.

FBI Arrests Suspect in Anti-Trans Boston Children's Hospital Bomb Hoax
After weeks of right-wing attacks that culminated in a bomb threat against Boston's Children's Hospital, police have announced an arrest in the case.
The Advocate
By Christopher Wiggins
September 15, 2022


The FBI says it has arrested a Massachusetts woman in connection with a hoax bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital.

The FBI, U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, and Boston Police announced at a press conference Thursday that Catherine Leavy, 37, is facing federal charges in connection with a bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital in August. 

U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said the threat was received over the hospital switchboard by phone. According to Rollins, the caller told the operator who answered the call, “There is a bomb on the way to the hospital. You better evacuate everybody. You sickos.” Authorities responded immediately, Rollins said. Rollins said the Boston Police bomb squad responded without finding any explosives.

Lucky for us, these right-wingers are not too bright in that she used her own cellphone to make the threat.

Rollins said that investigators obtained warrants and tracked the call to a T-Mobile phone owned by the suspect. Officials said her arrest was “without incident” at her Westfield home.

Nationally threats against medical personnel is increasing.

The attacks against the hospital began when far-right provocateur and transphobe Chaya Raichik, who runs the Twitter account LibsOfTikTok, unleashed her more than 1.3 million followers on posting information about the hospital and encouraging anti-LGBTQ+ sympathizers to aim at the institution.

I think that the provocateur should also be arrested for incitement to violence. I don’t think she will be the last to make threats against us and there will be more violence against us.

It Is World Wide.

It seems like wherever you look there is anti-LGBTQ+ protests or violence.

Here in the US;

On and on the list goes, it is getting to be common all across the globe the anti-LGBTQ+ threats and violence is increasing as the UN report states.

If you want to curb the anti-LGBTQ+ protests and violence get involved in politics! Help get out the vote! Here in the US November’s elections are going to be very important.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Tell Me About It.

The one thing that we all know all the anti-trans laws coming out of the Republican party is having a negative impact on us.

Online vitriol against LGBTQIA community impacts real people, real policy
Register-Guard
By Ty Warren
September 18, 2022


On the first day of class each term, I out myself as a queer Jewish trans man. I do this for several reasons: 1) I teach about visual culture; representation in art and popular media critically impact our perceptions of social structure. 2) For many cis students, I humanize what may feel like an abstract concept. 3) There are LGBTQIA students in my class who have never seen an out queer trans person in a position of authority, had a teacher in whom they could see themselves, nor had a model for what success and happiness can look like for them. 

Being out as a trans educator (or trans at all) comes with real risk. Routinely, my inbox receives hate mail that ranges from explicit wishes of harm to myself and family to tedious willful ignorance. This correspondence, never from students, goes in a folder in case something happens to me. Recently, my name appeared on an online bulletin board calling for a bullet to my head. Not simply boorish trolls in the comments section (though such trolls play a role in perpetuating harmful rhetoric), these individuals actively encourage violence against the trans community. 

[…]

Anti-LGBTQ social media and online groups generate and amplify damaging rhetoric, spread misinformation and attack educators, librarians, health care workers and countless others with false “groomer” allegations and debunked anti-trans rhetoric. Threats of violence, many quite detailed and credible, accompany the onslaughts. When the Proud Boys show up armed at your local library hyped from social media outrage, things are getting real. 

In another article the right-wing snowflakes complain about LGBTQ+ people banging on the doors of at a University of New Mexico speech, Newsbreak reported,

A speech from right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren at the University of New Mexico ended in chaos on Thursday night, as a large crowd of student protestors prompted state and campus police to shut down the event and evacuate guests.

“They had a group of leftists acting like typical leftist antifa,” Ms Lahren said on Friday in an interview with Outkick. “And unfortunately the University of New Mexico doesn’t seem to care, not only about my safety, but about the safety of their own students, and left us all barricaded in a room with basically rabid banshee animals trying to bust down the doors to get to us.”

Oh wow! Compared armed Proud Boys showing up at a LGBTQ+ event? What a bunch of snowflakes!

The Register-Guard article goes on to say,

In the face of such vitriol, many LGBTQIA folk and allies go silent out of very real fears of personal harm or loss of employment. For those of us who can speak out, we must. We must humanize, educate and give voice to those who cannot. This pertains not only to online discourse, but engagement with our friends, families and community members. It means difficult and potentially unpleasant conversations. For trans people, it means sharing our stories when possible. 

That is what the right-wing want, us back in the closet.

It used to be that the conservatives limited their vitriol comments to anonymous comments online but now they are crawling out of their swamps.

Report: Online trolls are spreading offline hate against LGBTQ Americans
Tweets using the ‘grooming’ slur shot up by 406% in the month after Florida passed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
Michigan Advance
By John L. Micek
September 18, 202


Baseless attacks against LGBTQ Americans by online trolls — whether anonymous or by well-known politicians and public figures — have created a “cascade of … hate, underpinned by dangerous misinformation and outright lies against the LGBTQ+ community,” according to recently released research.

That’s the top-line finding of a new report, jointly released by the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the Human Rights Campaign that calls on the social media giants Twitter and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, to act on hate speech, even as they profited from LGBTQ users during Pride Month observances and at other times of the year.   

And that online hate has reinforced offline violence and hate, with, for instance, members of the far-right Proud Boys launching a verbal assault during a ‘drag queen story hour’ at a Bay Area library in June, employing many of the same slurs found online.

“After decades of hard-won progress, the recent surge in violence and anti-LGBTQ+ hate serve as a reminder of how fragile that progress might be, and that there remain determined and capable opponents,”Imran Ahmed, the CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, wrote in the report’s introduction.

[…]

Much of the hate focused on the baseless claim that LGBTQ individuals “groom” young children — a line of attack that’s also been used to undermine the teaching of sex education in schools across the country.

Much of the anti-LGBTQ+ comments are coming from politicians, including Trump, U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert.

U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., were among the top purveyors of hate speech online, according to the analysis.

The “groomer” smear also been wielded by Michigan Republicans, including Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) falsely using it in a fundraising pitch this spring against her colleague, Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), who supports LGBTQ+ rights. GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon has tweeted several attacks, including claims that schools are “grooming children” and vowed “we won’t let them secretly talk to kids under 8 about sex” without providing evidence.

There is only one way to shut them up… Vote them out of office!

This And That In The News

A number of news article that deserve to be mentioned…

A court says no but the governor does it anyway,

Montana defies order on transgender birth certificates
AP News
ByMatthew Brown and Amy Beth Hanson
September 15, 2022


Just hours after a Montana judge blocked health officials from enforcing a state rule that would prevent transgender people from changing the gender on their birth certificate, the Republican-run state on Thursday said it would defy the order.

District Court Judge Michael Moses chided attorneys for the state during a hearing in Billings for circumventing his April order that temporarily blocked a 2021 Montana law that made it harder to change birth certificates.

Moses said there was no question that state officials violated his earlier order by creating the new rule. Moses said his order reinstates a 2017 Department of Public Health and Human Services rule that allowed people to update the gender on their birth certificate by filing an affidavit with the department.

However, the state said it would disregard the ruling.

“The Department thoroughly evaluated the judge’s vague April 2022 decision and crafted our final rule to be consistent with the decision. It’s unfortunate that the judge’s ruling today does not square with his vague April decision,” said Charlie Brereton, director of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

Yup, laws are made for everyone else not for the Republicans, they can just thumb their nose at the laws.


When teaching diversity is discrimination! This is the wrapped thinking right-wing and this happened here in Connecticut!

Failed BOE Candidates Sue School Board, Supt. Saying CRT Being Taught
Funded by Idaho-based 'We The Patriots,' Danielle Scarpellini, Bill Maisano, and Tim Chamberlain filed the federal discrimination case.
Patch
By Ellyn Santiago,
September 14, 2022


A federal lawsuit filed against Guilford schools by failed Republican Board of Education candidates alleges schools' have discriminated against their families and school-age children "after the parents opposed the implementation of critical race theory."

Named in the U.S. District Court suit funded by We The Patriots USA through donation requests, Guilford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Freeman said the district "categorically rejects the false assertions and personal attacks set forth in the complaint against the teachers, administrators, and Board members who serve the Guilford education community."

Freeman said in a statement that once all the facts come to light in the case, he expects it to be dismissed.

"Guilford schools do not teach intolerance for differing perspectives as alleged," he said. "Rather, we teach students about the inherent worth of all persons and the need to promote equity and inclusion of all students irrespective of their race, religion, economic circumstances, or other factors."

[…]

In a tweet, We The Patriots noted that it's "confident this case will expose the sinister indoctrination in Guilford Public Schools & schools across the country."

This is the twisted thinking of the right-wing, teaching the inherent worth of all persons and the need to promote equity and inclusion of all students irrespective of their race, religion, economic circumstances, or other factors is discrimination against the bigots! We want to discriminate! It is our god given right to discriminate!


Lastly…

A century after Mussolini seized power, Giorgia Meloni looks to steer Italy back toward nationalism
Yahoo News
By Melissa Rossi
September 12, 2022


Almost exactly 100 years after Benito Mussolini staged his “March on Rome” mass demonstration, during which his National Fascist Party seized power, Italy appears likely to hand control of its government to Giorgia Meloni, another leader of the nationalist right.

Charismatic and driven, the 45-year-old Meloni, a parliamentarian, doesn’t hold a university degree, but as head of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), a far-right-wing party she formed a decade ago, the single mother has campaigned on a platform based on her belief in the virtues of God, motherhood and patriotism, while decrying immigration and LGBTQ rights. Polls show her and Brothers of Italy poised for victory in a Sept. 25 parliamentary election that will determine Italy’s next prime minister.

While many conservatives cheer her ascent — and the idea of the first woman to rule Italy — her candidacy has simultaneously raised concerns among Italians about racism and the future of abortion in the country as well as Italy’s role in the European Union.

Although she rejects being labeled “far-right” and “neo-fascist” by opponents and has toned down her attacks on the European Union, Meloni appeared at a June rally in support of Spain’s far-right Vox party and delivered remarks that renewed that criticism.

Fascism is spreading around the world and it is scary!

Because we are the target of their hate. She said,

“Yes to natural families! No to LGBT lobbies! Yes to sexual identity! No to gender ideology!” she yelled, whipping up supporters. “Yes to the universality of the cross, no to Islamist violence! Yes to secure borders, no to mass immigration!”

The world is going crazy!

Fascism and intolerance is getting foot holds around the world, Poland, Hungary, Italy, and the US. Angry people are looking for scapegoats and we are it.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Saturday 9: In and Out of Love

Sam's Saturday 9: In and Out of Love (1967)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…


Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Diana Ross is disappointed that she hasn't yet found lasting love. Do you think you can fall out of love? Or do you believe that if you fell out of love, it wasn't true love to begin with?

Yes, especially if the your partner lies to you.

2) When is the last time you literally fell, tripped, or stumbled?

It has been a very long time ago, now if you are also including bumping then it was earlier in week I bumped a bone just above the ankle bone. It turned all red and swollen that I thought that it was an insect bite but as the swelling went down I could see the bruise.

3) This record was a hit with American Bandstand viewers. For weeks it was voted the song they most wanted to dance to. Did you watch American Bandstand?

Occasionally, if I found out if a band that I liked were playing.

4) This is one of the last Supremes songs that featured the most successful hit-making line-up: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard. Florence's great-nephew, Christian Ballard, was a football star at University of Iowa and briefly played pro ball for the Vikings. The 2022-23 NFL season just kicked off. What team do you root for?

None. I'm not a team sports fan end of conversation.

5) Mary had a connection to sports, too. She donated her time and talent to raising money for Figure Skaters of Harlem, an organization that helps young people train for the Winter Olympics.Tell us about a charity you support.

It is a health collective that I have volunteered at and donated to over the years, the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective.

6) There's a children's playground in New York's Central Park named for the last surviving member of this trio, Diana Ross. It has swings, slides, a rope bridge, and a fountain that kids are welcome to splash in. If you were suddenly little again, which would you play on first?

Well right now the temperature is in the 50s so playing in the fountain is out of the question, swings and slides… oh hum, to common placed. Now a rope bridge would be interesting, maybe one of those adventure parks with ziplines, rope ladders, and rope bridges I might like to try if I was younger.

7) Diana owns an estate in Greenwich, CT, with lush gardens, a tennis court, and a pool. While the grounds are spectacular, she maintains the house itself is "nothing special" because the kitchen hasn't been renovated in more than three decades. Could your kitchen benefit from a makeover? Or are you fine with it as it is?

The cottage most definitely! As a matter of fact I am looking for a kitchen designer right now.

P.S. I think that I drove by her estate in Greenwich, I used to have to drive down there a lot.

8) In 1967, when this song was popular, the best-selling camera was The Polaroid Swinger. When did you most recently take a photo? What was it of?

A couple of weeks ago...


9) Random question: Come clean! Are there dirty dishes in your sink right now?

Well yes but I do them after supper and right now I just finished breakfast.

~~~~~~

A couple of weeks ago you asked about pumpkin spice… Well Thursday on the way up to the Cape I ordered my usual from Dunkin Donuts: Large decaf ice coffee black and a Boston cream donut. On the way to the Cape is a quite stretch of the highway where the traffic is always very light so I dug into the bag to savor the chocolate cream filled donut and out comes a pumpkin spice donut!!! AGH!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Unconscionable And Immoral

That is what Governor DeSantis did when he dumped 50 undocumented immigrants on Martha's Vineyard with no warning. In the middle of the afternoon they just threw them off the plane and didn’t tell them where they were. The governor didn’t tell anyone what he was going to do and the authorities were caught blind sided.

Planeloads of Venezuelan Migrants Arrive at Martha's Vineyard Airport
Vineyard Gazette
By Brooke Kushwaha
September 14, 2022


Planes carrying 50 migrants from Venezuela and Colombia landed unexpectedly at Martha’s Vineyard Airport Wednesday afternoon. Island officials and volunteers quickly rallied to find temporary shelter for the group.

“We’re immigrants,” Eliase, who said he was from Venezuela, told the Gazette. “We came here because of the situation in our country, for the economy, for work, for lots of things. I came here walking. We went through 10 different countries until we got to Texas. There a refugee association put us in a plane and told us there would be work and housing here. I feel good, despite everything. We spent four days in Texas so it’s good to be here

[…]

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis later issued a statement to media outlets confirming that the airlift "was part of the state's relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations."

The population of Martha's Vineyard is only around 15,000 residents and to drop off 50 migrants without warning taxed the support services. But unlike DeSantis the people on the island compassionately stepped up to help the immigrants. 

A coalition of emergency management officials, faith groups, nonprofit agencies and county and town officials were organizing food and shelter for the migrants, who spent Wednesday night at St. Andrews Church in Edgartown. The Salvation Army, among others, was providing food.

In a news release Thursday morning, the Martha's Vineyard Humanitarian Response effort asked that inquiries about how to help be sent by email to EMD@dcsoma.org.

As word spread of the migrants' plight, a crowd of people — many eager to offer assistance — gathered outside the church. Edgartown Police Lt. Chris Dolby urged people not to deliver additional donations.

At least the governor of Texas notified the cities that they migrants were coming.

Airport director Geoff Freeman said Thursday morning that the migrants arrived on two planes belonging to the charter company Ultimate Air.

“We thought it was a typical charter,” he said, adding that private planes carrying visitors on corporate and golf retreats are common this time of year.

It wasn’t until the planes touched down that airport personnel discovered they were filled with migrants, he said.

The governor’s inhumane treatment of refugees has to be called out for what it was, a political stunt that was immoral and unconscionable to abuse a human being like that. 

But the good people of Martha's Vineyard stepped up help out.

Island officials relocated the passengers to the cafeteria at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, where they were given water bottles and fruit cups. Children were playing with chalk on the sidewalk outside.

“We are all kind of piecing the story together,” said schools superintendent Richie Smith. “We are providing water and food and things like that right now and trying to learn about the situation.”

[…]

At an emergency meeting on Zoom, Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Shaeffer said the town of Edgartown would take the lead in housing the migrants overnight. The migrants were later transported by bus to St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Edgartown.

[…]

“They came with folders with a pamphlet with our information,” said Beth Folcarelli, chief executive officer of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. “We don’t have refugee services, I had no idea about any of this. I only found out because one of them gave me their folder. Imagine being dropped in here knowing no one. Absolutely no one. It’s heartbreaking.”

[…]

“In a typical Vineyard fashion, it is a community effort,” she said.

The New York Times wrote,

One of the migrants, who asked to be identified only as Leonel, said in Spanish that the people of Martha’s Vineyard were generous and that he “had never seen anything like it.” They gave him a pair of shoes.

“I haven’t slept well in three months,” said Leonel, who does not have any relatives or friends in the United States. “It’s been three months since I put on a new pair of pants. Or shoes.”

[...]

“While other states may be treating these vulnerable families as pawns, here in Illinois, we are treating them as people,” Mr. Pritzker [The Governor of Illinois] said in a statement. 

Ken Burns had this to say on The Wrap,

In his treatment and manipulation of Venezuelan migrants as “political pawns,” Ken Burns sees similarities in the actions of Florida governor Ron DeSantis and those of Hitler in Nazi Germany. “This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” Burns said.

[...]

“Well, it’s the abstraction of human life. It’s basically saying that you can use a human life that is as valuable as yours or mine or Lynn’s and to put it in a position of becoming a political pawn in somebody’s authoritarian game. This is coming straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” he said.  

The hometown paper is also speaking out against the governor's actions.

‘Sadistic lie.’ Venezuelans flown to Martha’s Vineyard search for a way off the island
Miami Herald
By Bianca Padro Ocasio
September 16, 2022


About 24 hours after they unwittingly agreed to board private planes to the island, a group of nearly 50 migrants — most, if not all, hailing from Venezuela — remained in limbo Thursday night as volunteer attorneys worked to understand their legal situations.

Migrants in the group said they’d agreed to fly to Massachusetts on the promise of jobs and assistance but didn’t realize they were bound for Martha’s Vineyard. No one on the island knew they were coming and, according to their attorneys, they’d been given falsified U.S. addresses by immigration officials, perhaps ensuring that they’d be deemed in the country illegally.

[…]

“They were told there was a surprise present for them, and that there would be jobs and housing awaiting for them when they arrived. This was obviously a sadistic lie,” said Rachel Self, a Boston immigration attorney who was assisting with the migrants’ cases.

In a Rolling Stone article they wrote,

The Florida governor's anti-immigrant PR stunt was needlessly cruel. It may have also been illegal — especially if reports that migrants were misled are true

[…]

Professor Erin B. Corcoran of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies tells Rolling Stone that, like anyone in the U.S., migrants who are not being held in custody cannot be transported without voluntary and informed consent. “Consent is making a decision with full information and without duress,” she explains. “States can’t physically move immigrants like federal immigration authorities can. They can move people around if they have them in custody. States don’t have the authority to do that.”

As many other articles said, they were told they were going to Boston and lied to, it should be interesting to see if a grand jury is convened.

DeSantis did it for political gain, he want to show how tough he is and doesn’t care who he hurts, whether it is undocumented immigrants or trans children he will step on anybody who he thinks can get him the presidency. And I would like to point out that DeSantis is the great-grandson of a Italian refugee. According to the Tampa Bay Times...

Luigia Colucci left Italy in early 1917 and arrived at Ellis Island on Feb. 21. While Colucci crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the U.S. Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1917. Among other restrictions on "undesirable" immigrants, it barred illiterate people from entering the United States.

Now here is the kicker, media was waiting for them at the airport!

That's right Fox News was there on Marth's Vineyard.

In another article in the Rolling Stone said, "The flights they were put on made brief layovers in Florida and North Carolina before landing in Martha’s Vineyard, where someone on the tarmac filmed exclusive footage for Fox News."

I don’t care what your views on undocumented immigrants are you don’t treat people like that.


~~~~~~

Update 9/17/22 @ 5 AM

The political fallout is predictable.

The conservatives think that it is the best thing since sliced bread. While the liberals are horrified with what he did to a small community.

The conservatives think that it great that the governor tweaked a liberal bastion while the liberals think it was unconscionable to lie to the immigrants and to overwhelm the small island town that the social network couldn’t support that many people at one time.

So once again it is “me, me, me” verses “us, us, us.”

In Yahoo News the Miami Herald in an editorial wrote,

What a hoot, political supporters say. What a clever maneuver, governor. Actually, it’s as clever as it is cruel.

DeSantis is using and humiliating vulnerable human beings, people who risked their lives to escape their homeland for America, to make a political point — and further his presidential ambitions. After all, he couldn’t buy better press nationwide.

[…]

Let’s hope that backlash turns into pure outrage that Florida is joining Texas and Arizona in using human beings as pawns for political gain. It seems no coincidence that these immigrants were dropped into a swanky community where Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama own property.

The stunt is generating national coverage for the governor. Photos show the immigrants, including families and children, being greeted by surprised townspeople. The Vineyard had no idea these immigrants were coming. Martha’s Vineyard News reported the community had to scramble to open a church to house the refugees — more mercy shown there than the received in Florida.

How cruel to put any human beings in such a predicament.

So the questions are: where is DeSantis going to pull this stunt again? Was it a political gain or loss?

As for a political gain or loss, I think that it energized his base of Trump MAGA. If you read the comments on Yahoo his supporters are overflowing with glee at deriding of “snowflakes.” But, and this is an important but in Florida and I imagine in other Latinx immigrant communities there is a lot of questionings their support for DeSantis. So it boils down to how much is the Latinx immigrant community turned off be his antics.

Every immigrant in Florida should remember the pain of their first days in America. How heartbreaking it would have been to be used as a pawn by a heartless politician.

~~~~~~

Update 9/17/22 @ 11:00 AM

And the bill comes due to the Florida taxpayers, the Tallahassee Democrat reported...

Gov. Ron DeSantis paid $615,000 in Florida taxpayer money to relocate almost 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as calls intensified Friday from Democrats demanding an investigation of the action. 

Democrat Charlie Crist, who is challenging DeSantis in the November governor’s race, tweeted the dollar amount after campaign researchers found the Sept. 8 payment to Destin-based Vertol Systems, a transportation services company, on the state’s transparencyflorida.gov site. 

The payment was from the Florida Department of Transportation, which oversees a new, $12 million program to relocate "unauthorized aliens" from the state. 

I wonder how the taxpayers from Florida feel about paying for Texas immigrants being flown to Marth's Vineyard.

 

~~~~~~

Update 9/17/2022 @ 5:20 PM

The immigrants speak up,

'I simply feel misled': Migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard speak out; DeSantis vows to keep relocating migrants
USA Today
By Christine Fernando and Jeannette Hinkle
September 17, 2022


After dozens of migrants arrived in Martha's Vineyard near Cape Cod, some described grueling journeys to the U.S. and feelings of uncertainty after becoming part of a national spectacle.

Carlos Muños said he journeyed from Venezuela to give his four-year-old son the things he didn't have — a meaningful education, the freedom to express his opinions without fear of persecution, a job where he can earn enough money to afford food.

Muños, who was studying electrical engineering before Venezuela's economic collapse halted his studies, said he wants to go back to school and dreams that his son will also go to college some day.

[…]

After finding themselves in Martha's Vineyard, many expressed feelings of uncertainty as they wondered what may come next for them. Others, promised jobs and housing, felt lied to.

“When we got on the plane, they told us they would give us jobs, a place to live, everything,” Dela Hoz said through a translator. “The whole group is pretty upset. But they did take us to a nice place.”

"I simply feel misled because they told a lie and it has come to nothing," Pedro Luis Torrelaba, 36, said Friday.

[…]

Many migrants arrived on the island with mandatory appointments with ICE "all across the country from Washington to Florida," some as early as Monday, according to Rachel Self, an immigration attorney who lives on Martha’s Vineyard. Self said the migrants were set up to fail.

How low and how immoral will the Republican party go?

DeSantis actually had a videographer on the plane to record when they got off the plane and were met by this town people. The video was given exclusively to Fox News.

~~~~~~

Update 9/20/22 6:45 PM

The Conversation wrote this...

Governors Greg Abbott in Texas and Ron DeSantis in Florida are following the playbook of segregationists who provided one-way bus tickets to Northern cities for Black Southerners in the 1960s. At that time, the fight for racial equality was attracting national attention and support from many white Americans, inspiring some to join interracial Freedom Rides organized by civil rights groups to challenge segregation on interstate bus lines.

Then, as now, the message Southern racists aimed to send with their “reverse freedom rides” was, “Here, you love them so much, you take care of them.”

This shows how racist both Abbott and DeSantis are and DeSantis picked on the Venezuelans because there are no voting blocks in Florida that are Venezuela. An article in the Daily Beast said,

So, rather than displease the formidable Cuban American community in Florida, DeSantis went to the trouble and expense of hiring a contractor to hustle migrants into boarding his charter planes in San Antonio, Texas. And, lest the passengers include some of the record 176,000 Cubans who have arrived at the southern border by land over the past year, the contractor appears to have targeted only Venezuelans and a few Colombians.

DeSantis made a political decision not to antagonize his large Cuban voting base and instead picked on the Venezuelans.

~~~~~~

Update 9/23/22 8:00AM

It was all a political stunt for DeSantis presidential campaign run!

Ron DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard stunt gives Republicans the midterm fight they crave and takes focus off Trump 2024 and abortion rights, GOP operatives say

  • Polling shows voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on immigration and border security.
  • DeSantis' political stunt in Martha's Vineyard rocketed the issues to front-page news ahead of the midterms.
  • Republicans welcome the change of topic from abortion and Trump. 
Insider
By Kimberly Leonard and Warren Rojas
September 22, 2022


When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis orchestrated flights sending migrants and asylum seekers from San Antonio, Texas, to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, many observers saw a stunt aimed at raising the Republican's political profile ahead of a potential 2024 White House run. 

But according to GOP operatives, the move also gave Republicans running for Congress the opportunity to home in on illegal immigration and border security, topics they've clamored to put at the center of this fall's midterm elections.

DeSantis' timing is ideal for Republicans and allows the governor to continue casting himself as a national GOP leader that others in the party will follow.

But I think it is going to bite the Republicans in the a**!

I think those who think that the “immigration problem” is out of hand have always thought that and those who do not think the there is a problem have also no changed their mind. All his immoral stunt did was polarize the both sides more.

Republicans already knew they held an advantage on these issues even before the Martha's Vineyard controversy. Since March 2021, the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans in US House races, has sent 357 emails about "Biden's Border Crisis" to reporters. 

But DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard flights brought renewed interest to the matter, said a Republican familiar with House races who asked not to be named in order to speak candidly.

What they hope to do is strengthen their base.

Republicans already knew they held an advantage on these issues even before the Martha's Vineyard controversy. Since March 2021, the National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect Republicans in US House races, has sent 357 emails about "Biden's Border Crisis" to reporters. 

But DeSantis' Martha's Vineyard flights brought renewed interest to the matter, said a Republican familiar with House races who asked not to be named in order to speak candidly.

[…]

To top it all off, Republicans are closely watching trends that show Democrats are seeing a decline in support from Hispanic voters.

It was nothing more than a political stunt at the expense of human lives. Over the last four or five years the number of hate crimes have skyrocketed!

Rise in reports of hate crimes against Latinos pushes overall number to 11-year high
Of 51 hate-motivated murders reported in 2019, 22 — almost half — were from last year's anti-Hispanic mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
NBC News
By Suzanne Gamboa and The Associated Press
November 16, 2022


Reports of hate crimes against Latinos, including last year's shooting massacre in El Paso, Texas, increased in 2019, while the overall number of reports of hate-motivated killings hit its highest level since data began being collected in the early 1990s, an FBI report released Monday indicated.

Of the 51 hate-motivated killings reported last year, 22 of the victims — almost half — died in the El Paso massacre on Aug. 3, 2019. Most of the victims were Latinos. Authorities have said the gunman was targeting Hispanics when he drove hundreds of miles to El Paso and shot multiple people at a Walmart.

[…]

Authorities said that before the attack, the gunman had posted a hate-filled racist statement decrying the "invasion" of Mexican immigrants in the United States.

That is what all the rhetoric against immigrants is doing hate crimes against Latinos and Asian is the direct results of politicians like DeSantis who milk the political divide for all that’s it worth.